Patterson Declares Report Cards "Best We Have Ever Received" At Second Regular BOE Meeting
Although preliminary data has been out for weeks on Lakewood City Schools’ performance on the state report card, Superintendent Jeff Patterson took a few moments to explain the newly released designation of the district, Continuous Improvement, stating that these are the “Best Report Cards we have ever received.”
The district’s performance compared to last year’s report card is almost identical, with improvements in attendance and a rise in the Performance Index to 99.1—a score that has consistently increased over the last five years. In addition, the district met 23 out of 26 of its indicators, and was above expected yearly growth (Value Added).
However, according to Mr. Patterson, there are three subgroups that have struggled to meet AYP (Average Yearly Progress) for the last 3 years. This year, 2 of those 3 subgroups didn’t make AYP; therefore, the district automatically received a designation of Continuous Improvement. Overall, 7 of the 10 buildings in the district received a rating of Excellent or Excellent with Distinction.
Another area of concern is the district’s graduation rate, which fell to 81.1 due to the new federal law that changed the formula used to calculate how school districts track students who leave the district. School districts around the region, and nationally, have seen their graduation rates drop due to the new federal guidelines. Superintendent Patterson said that the staff has been charged with ensuring that the graduation rate goes up despite the challenges of new federal guidelines. For more detailed information, visit 2012 State Indicators and Rating for Lakewood City.
The second regular Lakewood Board of Education meeting, held on Oct. 22, began with the Harrison Elementary Report, given by principal Phillis Muth. Harrison Elementary is a very diverse school boasting 65 ESL (English as a Second Language) students and an incredible 14 languages spoken. As expected, although we are fortunate to have these students in our district, there are challenges that arise when it comes to teaching and assessing students who are new to the country. For instance, ESL students are expected to take and pass state exams after one year in the district even though it is known that students arriving at the district’s doorstep with a competency level of 50% in their own language need at least five years to become competent in an English-speaking classroom. Most ESL students in Lakewood City Schools have been here less than five years.
Principal Muth also spoke of the early childhood efforts going on at Harrison Elementary School which targets three- to four-year-olds, as well as an early literacy program, “Play a Day,” servicing 10 kindergarten families. She also spoke highly of her school’s PTA, explaining that the organization has been a huge support and partner to teachers, staff, and parents. Muth also reported that teachers at Harrison are very active in securing grants that will help pay for educational field trips for students.
During the Communications portion of the meeting (time designated for citizens to directly address the Board), Heidi Murray, PTO President of Emerson Elementary School, reported that the Edgewater VFW assisted the PTO with funds totaling over $1000 to help pay for swings for the school. Murray’s report was followed by the Lakewood Board of Education taking action on the agenda items that were discussed at the Oct. 1 meeting including the Resolution to Amend Board Policy 5517.01, Bullying & Other Forms of Aggressive Behavior. The Board also approved (on one reading) the Resolution of Support for the Lakewood City Schools Local Government Innovation Fund Grant Application for Planning and Launching Northeast Ohio INTERalliance Program Office Based in the West Shore Career Technical District. Essentially, the INTERalliance program works with students in districts around the region to help them transition from school to work. They set up internships and opportunities for students, as well as offering them job-seeking skills and access to career fairs.
The meeting adjourned at approximately 7:45 p.m. The next regular meeting of the Lakewood Board of Education will be Monday, Nov. 5 at Horace Mann Elementary School, 7 p.m.
To see full preliminary report cards for individual schools along with tables of information regarding the district, go here:
Remember, official report cards will not be out until auditor's office is done with investigation.